Benet Catty Productions

Equus

Workshop based on the play by
Peter Shaffer

Dates
December 2015

Performances
1

Company
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Cast
Afolabi Alli
Verity Blyth
Freddie Bowerman
Rosy Byrne
Herb Cuanalo
Eddie Elliott
Rosie Gray
Sarah Livingstone
Ross Harper Millar
GIna Ruysen
Harley Viveash
Laura Jayne Waldren
Corinna Wilson
Niall Wright

Fulfilling a long-held ambition, Benet directed a presentation of Peter Shaffer\'s masterpiece Equus in late 2015. Although not a public production of the full play but, rather, a\"text project\" to allow the actors in training to explore Stanislavskian approaches, and performed only once in front of a tiny audience of staff, Benet\'s abbreviated version included all major scenes from the play thinned down to a running time of a little over an hour.



The full company was on stage throughout, all dressed in black and sat on chairs arranged in a large horse shoe, often creating movement, sound or stamps to punctuate the action - all much in the style which John Dexter deployed so famously in the original production of 1973 on which all subsequent productions have been based.

For the purposes of the project, Dysart (the psychiatrist) was turned into a woman, and so the seven female actors all got the chance to play Dysart and other characters, while the seven men all played Alan Strang and others. Sometimes this allowed Alan\\\'s interior monologues to be shared by an Alan with one or more of those who had played the part before, as if ghosts in his mind.

These stylised touches matched with the compelling narrative of the play itself made for a powerful presentation rather than just the \"showing of scenes\" that such projects can sometimes become.

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